September 02, 2010

Technology is not an 'either/or'

Ever want a compelling reasoned argument for those we meet who'd rather "young people learnt how to play outdoors in the sun and get away from all this technology"?

John Connell vents some mild frustration at the Luddite brigade who proclaim that all this technology is good and well, but…:

"Call me a grumpy old man, but I want my students to engage with ‘old’ technology – books, journals, articles, conference proceedings. face-to-face discussions in real time, learning to think on their feet…too often ‘new’ technologies get reduced to gimmicks and Wikipedia – I want students who can operate the tool between their ears (another piece of pretty old technology)…"

The eloquence of Stephen Fry in this BBC Virtual Revolution rush, above, provides some common sense to even out the 'grumpy old men' and women who proclaim the computer between our ears is what needs played more often.

The bit I particularly appreciate when dealing with grumpy olds is this:

"Where people make their fundamental error and criticise all this I think it's a danger and it's reducing our capacity to act as proper human beings is they think it's all this. Either sit in front of a screen of some kind tapping away all your life, going lol and, and, and being childish and not writing in proper English sentences or, you sit in an old fashioned study with books and you read properly and you engage property and you go for walks. Well I do both! And most people do both, it is not one or the other.  "

You can download more rushes from the BBC Virtual Revolution programme and make your own version of the documentary. In fact, what a great exercise for students learning how the media can alter the outcome of a set of interviews purely by editing.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

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